Thursday, February 28, 2013

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Listening to Matisyahu sing "Jerusalem" on the way home from New Testament always gets to me. I remember Dr. Lyle's earnestness in speaking of Paul's yearning for the salvation of his fellow Jews. He says in Romans 9:1-5 that he would give his own salvation if it meant that his brethren could accept the gospel.

He always gets a little wistful when he talks about Paul sitting on the shore at Corinth, his heart wanting to go to Rome, but feeling compelled to take the offering of the Gentile churches to the church in Jerusalem himself. I never understood why until tonight -- his heart being pulled two ways at once, and I'll never read Romans again without seeing the fingers laced with Jerusalem.

I feel with Paul because I see in the lives of those I love most dearly -- those who share my own heritage -- I see every one who was left dead inside by a Church who keeps a smile while with abuse behind closed doors, I see every one who heard no shortage of judgement, but ultimately failed to receive the answers to the questions that haunted the most, every one who gave all they had to give and then watched as the Church turn her back when there was nothing left, every one who was told faith is something we do at home but it doesn't really effect our choices, every one who just has so much hurt that letting down those walls is more than anyone can bear.

I see Jesus standing on the hill as he walks deliberately toward his own death saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"
I hear this song, and I see Paul and Jesus and Israel and the ones my heart loves and I would give my own salvation to undo the hurt and gather them under the wings of the Lord.